[MUD-Dev] Where are we now?

Brian Hook bwh at wksoftware.com
Tue May 1 02:18:41 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

At 09:55 AM 4/30/01 -0600, Kwon Ekstrom wrote:
> From: "Greg Munt" <greg.munt at btinternet.com>

>> attracting.  Hatred and lust seem to win out every time. I hate to
>> sound arrogant (no, really!), but the intelligence of the average
>> player seems to verge on zero.

> Agreed, there are alot of idiots out there, whether it's the guy who
> can't understand how to do anything in the game, or the anti-social
> player.

I really, really don't want to sound preachy, but I can't resist in
this instance.  Yes, there are a lot of idiots out there, but
something that we, as game developers, have an obligation to do
(modulo those that are purposefully designing games aimed at a niche,
'snobbier' market) is to understand our player base instead of
condescending or competing with them.  If someone is an idiot, is it
because the game is unnecessarily obtuse or making large assumptions
about player experience?  I've seen a lot of "stupid" people in
Everquest, but "stupidity" in this case is because those players just
weren't familiar with that type of game play.  But as experienced game
players or developers we run the risk of inadverently targeting
players "like us" and assuming other players aren't very bright.

This is a disturbing trend to me because I've seen a lot of developers
adopt a very borderline "us vs. them" mentality without even realizing
it.  They're busy trying to prove a point instead of trying to let
players enjoy themselves.  And in the end you get frustrating,
complicated games that appeal to the game playing aristocracy instead
of being accessible to the masses (a.k.a. "dumbed down").

I've learned the hard way that often times if you see yourself
surrounded by sheep it's because you're in the middle of the herd.

> I'd say that both commercial and free muds have advanced, in
> general, free muds can be run by any moron who can pay $20-$30/mo
> for a server or DSL line.  Because of that, alot of people who
> shouldn't be fit for admining get their hands in the mix and give us
> free muds a bad name.

cf. above comments.

Anyway, /preach=off

Brian Hook

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